I’m not made to please men.

“Things You’re Doing to Turn Off Your Guy.”
“53 Ways to Make Him Want You.”
“What You’re Doing Wrong in Bed.”
“All The Reasons You’re Still Single.”

Those are the kinds of headlines that I’m faced with every single time I scroll down my Facebook feed, my Twitter timeline and any blogging site. And it infuriates me. Rarely do I see articles about the ways guys turn off girls or the things a guy should do in bed to please a woman or the reasons why a guy is eternally single.

As women, we are told time and time again that we have to be model fit, able to cook, witty, confident, intelligent, go-getters, sex vixens and a hundred more things. And it’s all coming from the media.

This morning, I read a post about the 10 things women do to turn off men. Their biggest turn offs. It went from us complaining at dinner to us not liking their friends to us trying to change them to us getting jealous. And I got angrier than I’ve ever been before. Because yes, I do these things. I hate on my own body and I complain about friends and I dislike the group of guys he hangs out with and I get jealous when he’s looking at another girl while walking down the street. But guess what? Guys do all these things, too.

Never in my life have I met a man who doesn’t complain, who doesn’t tell me that he hates this one particular person in my life, who doesn’t say he needs to go to the gym more. Never in my life have I met a man who doesn’t do all the same things that we women supposedly do to turn them off. But is anyone on my end writing articles about it? Am I seeing “The Things You Do to Turn Off Your Woman”, “40 Ways to Get Her Off” and “Reason Number One You’re Still a Bachelor”? Maybe here and there. But not not nearly as often as I see the opposite.

Instead, it’s all on the women. We’re the ones who have to sacrifice parts of our personality to make men feel better. We’re the one who don’t get to end a long day with a vent session because it’ll be a “turn off”. We’re the ones who deal with guys constantly asking us if our guy best friend is something more. We’re the ones who have to like all his friends and keep the lights on during sex and keep our jealousy in check.

Well, guess what? Women are not made to please men. If it makes me feel better to complain to someone who should care about me at the end of a long day, I’ll do it. If I’m having a bad body image day and point out my food baby and my lack of boobs, I should be supported. If I say my best guy friend is just a friend, I should be trusted. If I get jealous because my guy is looking at a hot girl down that street, that’s completely natural.

There are thousands of things that are going to turn a guy off. But there are a hundred more things that are going to turn him on. And my personality, my body and my life isn’t part of a machine where a man gets to press the right buttons for me to say the right thing so he can pop a boner. The things I do that “turn him off” are a part of who I am. And I wasn’t made to please a man. I was made to please me.

My body.

Today, I hate my body. I’m in a pair of jeans that are probably a size too small because my love handles are jutting out. I’m wearing a baggy shirt because my food baby is growing every day and it hangs over the button of my pants. I’m in a cardigan because this morning when I looked in the mirror, I saw fat, flabby arms. I have my hair up because it was threatening to become greasy if I left it down. I have little makeup on because I was too tired to deal with foundation and liquid eyeliner.

Today, I hate my body. I hate the way it fits into my clothes. I hate how it looks nude. I hate the discolouration in my cheeks and the bags under my eyes. I hate how my feet are going to smell when I take my boots off. I hate that I can see the stupid scar on my right arm from when I dropped a knife off the counter and tried to catch it. I hate it all.

But that’s okay. Because tomorrow, I’ll like the fact that I’m no longer a 00. I’ll remember that my love handles and food baby mean I’m well fed. I’ll put on my favourite bra that gives me the illusion of boobs. I’ll probably take a selfie.

I think it’s okay to hate your body some days. It’s natural. And it sucks when you wake up feeling like you’re fat and ugly. But then tomorrow comes. And you get to start over.

So today, I’m going to keep hating my body. But tomorrow, I’ll strive to appreciate it and all its flaws.

Telling them.

lookcatalogKeeping in your feelings is draining. Not saying anything is like holding your breath. Your feelings bubble to the surface, and you want to spit them out because it feels like if you don’t, the words will explode out of your chest. You dance around your feelings. It’s a well-practiced dance, at this point. You…

via Just Tell Them How You Really Feel — Thought Catalog

Fort McMurray.

I’m scared. Terrified, really. It seems silly to say that since I am nowhere near the raging fire in Fort McMurray but, it’s the simple and honest truth. Alberta was my first home and despite not living there for the last 16 years, it still feels like that. My heart is aching for everyone who is suffering – the residents, their families elsewhere, the animals, the firefighters and everyone else who might be affected by this ordeal.

It feels strange to feel so strongly for people I don’t know and a town I’ve never visited. But it also feels heartbreaking and utterly devastating. Even from 6000km away, it’s like I’m sitting right there in the thick of it all. I’m not trying to downplay the hurt they’re feeling or the losses they’re suffering but, rather, I am trying to identify with them. And with myself.

There has been nothing in my life that has happened to match what these people are feeling right now. Sure, I’ve endured loss and heartbreak. I’ve even watched a small fire quickly turn rampant before the fire brigade showed up. But I am lucky. My home is intact, my family is safe, my city isn’t afraid and I am alive. Yet, somehow, it still feels like I’m losing something.

There’s something about empathy that can reach the furthest points of the earth. When shootings occur in Paris or when Syrians are displaced or when the ground shakes so violently that entire cities are destroyed, empathy creeps in. And I think that’s what makes it so hard. Knowing that empathy doesn’t do much for anyone. I feel for the residents of Fort McMurray. I am with them in their loss and fear and heartbreak. But that’s all I can do – be with them.

So this is me, voicing my concern, my fears, my loss and my heartbreak. This is me empathising and knowing it won’t make a difference. This is me hoping that in the coming weeks and months, the devastated can hope with me. And this is me hoping that maybe knowing someone out there a million miles away feels the same way, they won’t feel so afraid.